Joint aches? You may be suffering from osteoarthritis | Sunday Observer
Medi Snips:

Joint aches? You may be suffering from osteoarthritis

1 May, 2022

With the whole of this month being dedicated to raising awareness on bone diseases , the Sunday Observer spoke to a specialist in the field to share some of his views on Osteoarthritis which many people are yet to fully understand.

The Sunday Observer asked Head of Rehabilitation Services, MJF Charitable Foundation , Dr Gopi Kitnasamy, to explain what the disease was and how it could be detected this is what he had to say,

“Osteoarthritis ( OA) is the most common form of arthritis, affecting millions of people worldwide. It occurs when the protective cartilage on the ends of your bones wears down over time. Although osteoarthritis can damage any joint in your body, the disorder most commonly affects joints in your hands, knees, hips and spine. In normal joints, a firm, rubbery material called cartilage covers the end of each bone. Cartilage provides a smooth, gliding surface for joint motion and acts as a cushion between the bones. In OA, the cartilage breaks down, causing pain, swelling and problems moving the joint.””

Asked if and how the symptoms could be detected at an early stage he told Medi Snip,” Osteoarthritis symptoms often develop slowly and worsen over time. Signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis include:

  •  Pain. Your joint may hurt during or after movement.
  • Tenderness. Your joint may feel tender when you apply light pressure to it.
  • Stiffness. Joint stiffness may be most noticeable when you wake up in the morning or after a period of inactivity.
  • Loss of flexibility. You may not be able to move your joint through its full range of motion.
  •  Grating sensation. You may hear or feel a grating sensation when you use the joint.
  •  Bone spurs. These extra bits of bone, which feel like hard lumps, may form around the affected joint.

Responding to a further query on the factors that could increase risks of osteoarthritis he said, “ Risk Factors that may increase your risk of osteoarthritis include: Older age i.e . The risk of osteoarthritis increases with age and sex. Women are more likely to develop osteoarthritis, though it isn’t clear why. Obesity. Carrying extra body weight contributes to osteoarthritis in several ways, and the more you weigh, the greater your risk. Increased weight puts added stress on weight-bearing joints, such as your hips and knees. In addition, fat tissue produces proteins that may cause harmful inflammation in and around your joints. Joint injuries. Injuries, such as those that occur when playing sports or from an accident, may increase the risk of osteoarthritis. Even injuries that occurred many years ago and seemingly healed can increase your risk of osteoarthritis.

He said that certain occupations especially if it places repetitive stress on a particular joint and later develop into osteoarthritis. that joint may eventually develop osteoarthritis.

Other factors which also contributed to the disease were: Genetics. Some people inherit a tendency to develop osteoarthritis, and Bone deformities. Some people are born with malformed joints or defective cartilage, which can increase the risk of osteoarthritis.

So how can it be prevented? Can exercise help? We asked.

In reply, he said, “ Exercise is an integral part of any arthritis treatment program, as it helps to strengthen and stabilise the joints, preventing further damage. For patients suffering from osteoarthritis, the pain brought on by regular exercise can feel unbearable. Water Exercise is an excellent option for patients with osteoarthritis of the knees, hip osteoarthritis, and spinal osteoarthritis due to the decreased pressure placed on the joints.

In what way? we asked.

In reply he said, “ Water provides an ideal environment for patients to exercise because the buoyant force of water counteracts the downward pull of gravity, thus reducing the weight placed on the joints. pain. Water exercise is especially helpful in cases where a land-based exercise program is not possible due to the intensity of pain, decreased bone density, disability or other factors. Water exercise is particularly good for people with conditions such as: Osteoarthritis, Advanced osteoporosis (with susceptibility to and/or pain from fracture) Muscle strain or tears and Physical disabilities and Neurological disorders. In addition to those conditions, water exercise is frequently recommended as one form of exercise therapy to treat those with diabetes as well as individuals with high blood pressure. Both conditions can improve and become more manageable with water exercise. ”

Going forward, we asked whether there was something new being tried out now. In reply he said, “Water Walking is becoming popular. Water walking is considered easy on the joints, according to the Arthritis Foundation. You can walk in the shallow end of the pool or walk in the deep end with a flotation belt. You can walk backwards and sideways, as well as forwards in the pool, to tone different muscles. Sitting along the pool edge and doing kicks or squats also enhance your water workout. Water exercise allows people to work out longer at lower intensities, thereby burning more calories than shorter duration, high-intensity exercise.”

He noted however that “Adults with obesity problems which is one cause for OA may have functional limitations that result in difficulty performing traditional weight-bearing exercises and activities. Weight loss involves burning more calories than a person ingests. Water exercise allows people to work out longer at lower intensities, thereby burning more calories than shorter duration, high-intensity exercise.”